All Posts By Samantha Seneviratne

Samantha Seneviratne Samantha Seneviratne is a New York-based writer, recipe developer and food stylist. She is the author of The New Sugar and Spice (Ten Speed Press), a baking cookbook combining family stories and food history with recipes that reimagine dessert as a more balanced mix of sugar and spice. Her second book, Gluten Free for Good (Clarkson Potter), comes out August 2016. She blogs about dessert at Love, Cake.

Browned-Butter Pound Cake — Bake-Ahead Batches

by in Recipes, October 6th, 2015

The pound cake is the underdog of the dessert world. It’s not flashy. It’s old-fashioned. It’s simple. But I implore you to take a closer look. If you give it a chance, the pound cake will never disappoint.

First of all, the ingredient list is short. You probably have all the ingredients to make a pound cake right now. That means that no cake craving need ever go unanswered. Second, the method is uncomplicated. It is easy to make and easy to bake. Third, a well-wrapped pound cake freezes exceptionally well. Keep a backup in your freezer at all times to thwart any cake emergency. And, most importantly, pound cake is delicious. Made with a hefty dose of real butter and fresh vanilla bean, the downy cake tastes rich, decadent and far lovelier than the sum of its parts.

Once you’ve gotten your fill of the basic cake, feel free to dress it up. Slice it into layers, reassemble it with ice cream and refreeze it for a gorgeous hot-weather treat. Layer it with fruit and custard to transform it into an elegant trifle. Top it with strawberries and whipped cream for simplified shortcake. You can even grill it to make an unexpected barbecue dessert.

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Banana Snack Cake with Coconut, Chocolate and Pecan Streusel — Bake-Ahead Batches

by in Recipes, September 29th, 2015

You know what drives me nuts? Bananas. Have you noticed how a whole bunch of bananas will always become ready to eat on the same day? I fight a losing battle with my bananas every week. I want to eat one every day. But it never works out that way. Inevitably I end up having to down five ripe ones in one afternoon. I’ve tried to rip apart bunches of varying ripeness and assemble the perfect hybrid bunch at the store. But I don’t think supermarkets condone that kind of behavior. And I’m a timid rule breaker.

Thankfully, the overripe banana is the baker’s best friend. Unlike wilted lettuce and mealy apples, squishy brown bananas make for fabulous baked goods. I keep them in a big plastic bag in the freezer, adding super-soft specimens weekly. They can hang out there for months, just waiting for their opportunity to shine.

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Chocolate Mint Sandwich Cookies — Bake-Ahead Batches

by in Recipes, September 22nd, 2015

When I’m working on a new recipe, I always start on paper. I write down the skeleton of my recipe, then go to the kitchen to try it out. When I initially sketched out these Chocolate Mint Sandwich Cookies, I instinctively included Dutch-process cocoa powder. Would you like to know why?

There are two basic types of cocoa powder: Dutch-process cocoa powder and natural cocoa powder. Dutch-process is made from cacao beans that have been washed in a potassium solution. Dutching the beans neutralizes their acidity and makes the powder darker. Natural cocoa powder is simply made from ground, roasted cacao beans.

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Overnight Blueberry Buns — Bake-Ahead Batches

by in Recipes, September 16th, 2015

What’s better than enjoying a warm, buttery sweet bun fresh from the oven? Eating a warm bun while still in your pajamas. In order to have that luxury you might think you need to start baking at 4 a.m., but that’s not true at all. These overnight blueberry babies look complicated, but they take only about 20 minutes of active work to put together, and they’re perfect for breakfast.

You start by making a simple enriched dough. With a stand mixer, the whole process takes about 10 minutes. Without one, you’ll have to do the kneading by hand, but this pillowy dough is easy to work with. The first rise should take about an hour. Then all you have to do is shape the dough and pop it in your fridge. The rolls rest overnight; this makes the recipe simpler and develops delicious yeasty flavor in the dough. The buns actually get tastier in the fridge while you sleep.

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Compost Cookies — Bake-Ahead Batches

by in How-to, Recipes, September 8th, 2015

The compost cookie has nothing to do with garbage. It’s a butter-and-brown sugar cookie loaded with bits of candy and snack food. It sounds strange but it tastes divine. Invented by Christina Tosi, the sugar genius behind Momofuku Milk Bar, the cookie has become an Internet sensation. It’s no wonder. It’s a brilliant idea and a truly decadent dessert.

But what if you want to put your own spin on it? What if you don’t like the butterscotch chips that Tosi recommends, or you have some leftovers treats that you’d like to use up? The compost cookie can be your edible canvas. The recipe is easy to alter to any specifications or cravings. But do take care — a loaded compost cookie can go from delicious to disgusting in a flash. Here are my six tips for compost cookie success:

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A Salad and a Meal, All In One: Wheat Berries and Brussels Sprouts

by , May 17th, 2014

wheat berry salad

I don’t know about you, but if I’m eating a salad as a meal, I want it to have some heft. I can’t last until my next meal on mixed greens alone. Enter wheat berries and Brussels sprouts. Together with some nuts and cheese, they mak...

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Quinoa, Making a Move to Dessert

by , May 3rd, 2014

quinoa pudding

Quinoa is still all the rage. And it’s no wonder. It’s full of protein, easy to make and extremely versatile. Just how versatile? Well, recently I’ve started eating it for dessert. That’s right, quinoa in the pudding!

Nutty ...

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Whole-Wheat Oatmeal Pancakes with Honey and Orange

by , April 19th, 2014


I grew up in a store-bought, premade pancake batter household. On Saturday mornings we were happy to shake the carton and pour our way to breakfast heaven. I’ll always have a soft spot in my heart for the pancakes of my youth. But now I know b...

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